Boost for robotics research in Queensland

| June 17, 2018

Technological innovation in Queensland is being encouraged with a further $50 million investment in Advance Queensland to position the state as a national leader in artificial intelligence and robotics.

The state’s Innovation Minister Kate Jones said using advanced technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous machines and vehicles and big data was critical to the future competitiveness of all Queensland’s industries.

“Advance Queensland is about ensuring the future of our state – and creating jobs and opportunities now and for our children,” Ms Jones said. “That is why we are lifting our overall investment in Advance Queensland to a $650 million program.

“We are investing $15 million in the IndustryTech fund to back projects that develop and deploy these cross-cutting technologies right here in Queensland and we will also create an Artificial Intelligence hub.

“I want this state to be leading the world in applying these platform technologies to boost both existing and emerging industries.”

The IndustryTech fund will back game-changing projects that combine and leverage the know-how of startups, small businesses, researchers and industry partners.

“In areas like drones, this kind of support has helped place Queensland as a global centre for technology development, benefiting our defence support, agriculture and resources sectors,” Ms Jones said.

“These technologies will create new job opportunities but we need workers with the skills.  In Queensland right now, we can only fill one in eight available jobs in artificial intelligence.

Minister Jones said the Artificial Intelligence Hub, to develop more skills in AI and to connect business with AI startups and researchers, will be based at the Precinct in Fortitude Valley, the state’s biggest centre for startups and entrepreneurs

“I am also proud to announce the Precinct will be expanded by 50 per cent to meet demand for space for new high-tech businesses and create new networks.”

Regional Queensland will be a major focus in developing new technology, with the Regional Internet of Things (RIoT) Program to fund local projects helping local business, communities and councils to trial the use of connected devices on farms, in factories and in towns.

“We will also help regional businesses to engage with the digital economy and innovation, learning new skills and to how to work together to grow through ideas.

“We will also help local startup hubs across the state, with additional support to our Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP), which has  partners working together to harness innovation all over Queensland.”

The Australian first Hot DesQ program, which attracts startups from interstate and overseas to come to Queensland to share their connections and experience with local startups, will be extended for a further two years.

The budget also provides support for Griffith University to partner with Germany’s leading research body, the Fraunhofer Institute, to develop solutions for antibiotic resistant drugs.

“This is the first time the Fraunhofer Institute has partnered with an Australian university and this will happen at the Gold Coast, as part of the Health and Knowledge Precinct, a legacy of the Commonwealth Games.”

Minister Jones said the new investment was additional to the $73 million in election commitments for Advance Queensland, including support for the Ignite Ideas Fund, Industry Research Fellowships, the • Regional Startup Onramp Program, the Female Founders program and the Deadly Innovation program

“Advance Queensland is working – we have supported over 3100 innovators whose projects are driving over 11,300 jobs,” Ms Jones said.